Posts Tagged ‘ Edinburgh International Fashion Festival ’


Princess Grace: More Than An Image


 This exclusive archive collection by Scottish knitwear specialists Pringle based on the style of Princess Grace of Monaco-who initially found fame as a Hollywood glamour icon under her own name of Grace Kelly- and drawn from her own private collection was a lesson in understated but classic chic. Timeless, effortless and exuding both class and glamour whilst the opulent surroundings of the Signet Library simply enhanced these features commendably without distracting from them.

 The Princess Grace theme was not just a gimmick  tagged on to promote sales, as in the case of too many high street stores and the never ending round of non entity celebrities only too willing to  lend their name, promote their egos and share their style ‘secrets’ with the public, but a genuine attempt to capture the essence of this ineffably chic lady and her ever enduring style conscious look. To complement the look however Pommery Champagne was served and the catwalk show’s musical accompaniment was Camille Saint-Saens’ cello piece ‘The Swan’ in reference to her wedding to Prince Rainier where the former was the drink of choice and the latter the music.

 As for the collection itself- sixteen pieces in all- it was like its muse in that it was understated whilst making a statement. The colours were mostly muted greys and blacks, vivid blues and pinks, whilst some were emblazoned with motifs and others accessorised with fake fur trims but all were highly covetable. Each piece is a limited edition however and with only the finest Scottish cashmere being used this makes them even more desirable as well as long lasting both in style and endurance terms.

 Available exclusively in Jane Davidson’s Thistle Street store this collaboration is already highly prestigious and before this show even took to the catwalk many orders had been taken for several of the pieces.

 In essence the collection is that of a fairytale princess literally straight out of the Hollywood film archives but in reality the clothes at its core are down to earth and basic but simultaneously overwhelmingly luxurious and effortlessly stylish; much like their muse!

 For further information about this collection and its availability please follow the link below


Just An Observation Friday  October 4th


After a relatively quiet September-culturally anyway- after the excesses of the Fringe it would seem that Edinburgh’s artistic circle have stirred themselves. Possibly the most high profile opening this weekend is the Andy Warhol Pop Power and Politics exhibition being held at the Scottish Parliament until November 3rd.

Possibly the most recognisable and influential-in many ways- artist of the 20th century detractors always claim  Warhol’s work to be vacuous and lacking soul but this misses the point completely. There was a lot more intelligence in his work than is instantly recognisable and presenting culture as it was –albeit with brighter colours- was a bold statement that afforded his work longevity and ongoing scrutiny.

 Warhol himself is as recognisable as his works and emerges as one of the all time great self publicists. His influence and fingerprints are all over 21st century culture whilst his ideas still course through the veins of modern life. Reality television has its roots in Warhol’s ideas of sticking a bunch of previous unknowns and recording their actions and reactions.

The main difference between his early films and the abomination that reality TV has become is that most of the characters he chose to feature included great beauties, articulate talkers and interesting characters such as Edie Sedgwick, Joe Dallesandro, Candy Darling, Nico, Jackie Curtis and Gerard Malanga, all who operated in a vacuum of sorts and had something worthwhile to say and put across.

Compare and contrast with the never ending circle of Bianca Gascoignes and Louis Spences and it is clear how this ideology has faltered and become an instant form of creating a false celebrity. True the Warhol acolytes also wanted fame and celebrity status but deep down were aware it was never actually going to happen- of all his disciples only Lou Reed  really achieved international acclaim in his own right- therefore retaining some of their credibility and, more importantly, their integrity.

 As for politics Warhol’s work is shot through with politics although it is not always clearly apparent. The Chairman Mao’s, Jackie Kennedy’s, JFK Assassination works as well as his Andrew Carnegie portraits are all obvious enough candidates but his ‘Electric Chair’ is also rampantly political. It is a stark image which says nothing and everything at the same time but simply presents an object of death and allows the viewer to make their own mind up whilst drawing their own conclusions. Or not as the case may be.

andy-warhol-mao-1972-FS-II.93 Andy Warhol’s ‘Mao’

The Edinburgh International Fashion Festival team are also back next week and their involvement in the Pringle show at the opulent Signet Library looks like being a fashion event not to be missed. Entitled ‘Princess Grace: More Than An Image’. I am assuming the collection will be based on poise and elegance, two characteristics heavily associated with the former screen icon who became a bona fide royal after marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco abandoning her Hollywood career at its very apotheosis.

Although September was a quiet cultural month for me personally it was very active socially so now that October has arrived I am looking forward to more nights in. Matters in this would be assisted however if there was ever anything decent ever on the television. Even a series which started out as hopeful as ‘Peaky Blinders’ seems to have somehow lost its way and although it still possesses a great Nick Cave and White Stripes soundtrack-not to mention Cillian Murphy’s ethereal eyes and razor sharp cheekbones- the plot is flagging and the characters raise little empathy, never mind caring what actually happens to any of them. Hopefully the return of ‘Homeland’ for its third series this Sunday will raise the bar again and some decent drama will provide relief from the barrage of reality shows, singing and dancing competitions and ‘Downton Abbey’s’.

 Saying that my own guilty pleasure in the reality show stakes, ‘Made in Chelsea’, is also returning in the coming weeks. I actually annoy myself by watching this as the characters-I refuse to call them real people- are all obnoxious, smug, self obsessed and supercilious. Somehow I have convinced myself that I watch it to feel glad at least I am not like them and feel better for it but this argument is unconvincing as that would make me smug, self obsessed, supercilious etc. etc. and therefore I am no really any better than them at all. In fact it makes me worse as I am still interested in their lives-whilst insisting the opposite- but they are not even aware of mine.

 Let’s hope then that the programmers who organised the winter schedules have a new surprise up their sleeves. I hold out little hope for this however and may have to join the rest of the world by drowning in ‘Breaking Bad’ box-sets, hyperbole and obsession. Sounds like a good idea!

Photo at the top- Joe Dallesandro in Andy Warhol’s ‘Flesh’



Edinburgh International Fashion Festival- Future Fashion

 954840_465978903491448_828566177_nPhoto by Scott Trindle

This day long design market where designers mixed with prospective clients  followed by a runway show in the City Art Centre managed to encapsulate all that is inspiring and bvibrant in contemporary Scottish fashion. Often unfairly ignored on the international scene Scotland-and in particular Edinburgh- revealed itself as a fashion leader where tradition and innovation conspire to create a heady mix of forward looking styles.

 The glamour of the situation was perfectly housed in this gallery and Joyce Paton’s opening salvo of black/white combos, cinched waists, chiffon, elegant headwear and an overall feeling of exotica combined with classic style and Euan McWhirter jewellery made a great start to this finale to an interesting day.

 Moving along at a comfortable pace which never rushed the clothes but allowed the viewer to drink it all in the next collection was Bebaroque’s sheer and clingy mainly black offerings. Suited to those predisposed to a slight build and supported by only vertiginous heels this was a confident statement. Obscure couture continued this more erotic vibe with more daring clothes including a bondage coatdress bound up in a multitude of belts. Beautiful, exciting clothes suitable for a night out which made as much of a  statement  about the wearer as the clothes themselves.

 It was all not exotica and erotica however as Mairi MacDonald showcased extremely wearable cashmere and knitwear which seemed suitable to the more realistic Scottish climate we are more used to rather than the blazing sunshine of the last weeks.

 Other designers on show included Jacob Birge’s futuristic designs in funky, punkadelic colours and shiny fabrics as well as Rebecca Torres and Epitome. It was a mixed collection of various styles with something for everyone or for the more eclectic perhaps a little bit of everything.

 Future Fashion showed if any further eveidence were needed after this years festival that Scotland has a lot to offer in the fashion world and its contribution is multi-textual, innovative, futuristic, nostalgic, practical yet daring and most importantly effortlessly stylish.


Edinburgh International Fashion Festival 2013


Following hot on the heels of last years success husband and wife team Jonathan and Anna Freemantle unveiled the line up for the second instalment of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival in the opulent surroundings of the Peacock Gallery in the Waldorf Astoria on the hottest day Scotland has had in years. Melting under the glass roof were design team-another husband and wife duo- Clements Ribeiro- whose love and patronage of Scottish Cashmere which is simply the best in the world they revealed at the press conference although they, like many others, were unable to establish exactly why. Their new collection will preview at Mansfield House tomorrow evening in an opening gala which features a runway show then an after party launching things in suitably stylish fashion.

 Mixing tartan, punk, rebellion themes alongside those of romanticism and femininity is a trademark of Clements Ribeiro and one which they have wisely never deviated from too radically. From their first headline grabbing collection which remade/remodelled the old fashioned twin-set which had no cachet with a younger audience until they gave it an edgy twist and what was formerly the preserve of spinster aunts suddenly found a whole new younger audience as well as winning celebrity endorsements from the likes of Madonna and Nicole Kidman. This success launched them onto an international market almost immediately and this is a stage they have managed to negotiate from successfully ever since.


Inacio Ribiero and Suzanne Clements at the press launch of EIFF 2013 . Photograph by Tibor Galamb.

 The new collection does not move too far from the ethos of their original collection which is fitting as they first emerged in the midst of a recession-one of the reasons they work together is because it was hard enough to get one job never mind two- and buying clothes which last and stand the test of time is important when there is no money to spend on the frivolous and latest dictates of the so called fashion cognoscenti.

 This is merely the very glamorous beginning however and various events will take place over the next two weekends focussing on fashion as performance and storytelling. Following Friday’s extravaganza there is the launch of Life Story’s ‘Sutori’ collection in London Street on Saturday which sounds like the perfect hangover cure for those who have partied a little too hard at the opening festivities.

Sunday unveils Symposium, a collection of talks and panelled discussions on various subjects and with luminaries such as Amanda Harlech and Bella Freud guest hosting-among many others- it sounds an intriguing prospect which anyone with an interest in fashion’s origins and what it articulates would be unwise to miss, Taking place at Summerhall the day rounds off with drinks in the Royal Dick and with another sweltering weekend on the card it could make for an exceptional day out.

 During the week several other events take place including an Open Studio on Wednesday in Leith and a men’s collection at Harvey Nichols on Thursday. Saturday sees Future Fashion taking place during the day at the City Art Centre and this is followed by a fashion show at 5pm. The weekend and festival closes with Gianni Scumaci unplugged followed by a closing party in the Voodoo Rooms where everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, knock back a few drinks and upstage each other with their party outfits.

  Although last year’s festival was a success this year has built on that and taken things to a more sophisticated level and looks like not only repeating that success but actually improving on it! Definitely a worthwhile event and one worthy of support in a city where fashion and style, although lacking the effrontery of Glasgow, actually has more individual and less generic tastes than many would presume.

 Follow the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival link below for full details of upcoming shows and information on how to buy tickets for events.


Just An Observation Friday June 14th

rammed photo

Fashion seems to be very much in the air this week. First of all I attended an amazing showing of the new collection by Atelier E.B. this Wednesday on a warm balmy summer evening- I am rarely able to use that phrase with our whimsical Scottish climate so indulge me please- in the picturesque and atmospheric Inverleith House situated in the Botanic Gardens. Fine knit cashmere pieces, beautifully tailored coats, funky tee shirts and full length woollen socks all tempted several of the attendees with orders filling up the books of the two artists/designers at the core of this venture, Lucy McKenzie and Beca Lipscombe. It did feel strange looking at items more closely associated with winter on such a beautiful summer evening but strangely enough the two opposing factions didn’t detract from each other and the evening rounded off perfectly with a stroll through the gardens aided by swigs from a celebratory bottle of champagne. At Inverleth House until Sunday 16th June Atelier E. B. is well worth checking out.

 Cashmere and winter clothing were very much on my mind the following evening however when I attended Leith Late. Making my way up Leith Walk the contrast in the weather from the previous evening could not have been more pronounced as cold winds and grey skies competed with each other as to which could dampen the spirits of  this worthy event the most. It was not a total downer though and I managed to garner some enjoyment from the spells I spent in Woodland Creatures, Elvis Shakespeare , The Art Bus and finally the Windsor Buffet Bar. The latter was most notable for the tuneless, flat singing of the female singer of their headlining band. Matters were not aided by the presence of her number one fan –and best friend- who made it quite clear if appreciation of her friend’s talents were not shown then her displeasure would be. As I tried not to wince every time a high note was not properly reached- there were many of these occasions- I also had to prevent a smirk from spreading across my face.

 Tomorrow night sees me returning to the world of fashion again as the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival launches its programme of events. Last years venture was highly successful so returning for a second time it will be interesting what 2013 yields from this enterprising and innovative team.

 Monday sees the Film Festival kick off and although I haven’t had time to compile a complete Calendar I have several films earmarked as essential and no doubt along the way I will discover a great many more. I am particularly looking forward to this year’s closing film- Not Another Happy Ending starring Karen Gillen- as it features a song by Teen Canteen, my new favourite girl group, on its soundtrack. Daily updates on what is worth seeing –or not as the case may be- will be posted before the films can be viewed by the public and hopefully will help to steer you in the right direction.

 News this week was confirmed about a new night called Rammed which is to be held at the Voodoo Rooms on July 6th. An impressive line up featuring the phenomenon which is Homesick Aldo and the wonderfully wilfully perverse Andy and the Prostitutes constitute the live music aspect of the evening. Not to be outdone however The Baron and Anna Kissed will be providing some excellent tuneage  before, during and after the bands, aiming to create a sonic environment and cultural experience unlike any other on the scene at the moment. Get along early though as spaces are limited and instead of trying to appeal to a mass audience which requires the struggle of filling up the venue with any old punters the promoters have instead elected to opt for a more intimate and select setting.

 Here then to round up today is a recently recorded video by a solo Homesick Aldo, although he has promised that his live act will feature a whole slew of new material and for the first time he will unveil and perform a prepared set with other musicians accompanying him.